10 Fun Money Reads to Take to the Beach
Whether you're planning to spend a week in a lounger by the pool, or are jetting off to the beach for sun, sea, and serious relaxation, taking a book is a smart way to pass the time while soaking up those rays. And so often in life, we never find the time to educate ourselves on something that really matters: our money. When we're in control of it, we have more time, more freedom, and more choices.
The following 10 books are not only educational, but they're fun reads that will get you excited about money management. Most of them are available to buy in multiple formats, including eBook and audiobook, and are available at your local library at no cost. (See also: 6 Personal Finance Books You Should Read)
1. You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero
"If my broke ass can get rich, you can too." That quote, from the #1 New York Times best-selling author Jen Sincero, should be enough to motivate anyone to grab a copy of You Are a Badass at Making Money and read it cover to cover.
Written playfully, with just the right amount of candid sass you need to pull you out of the money rut you're in, this is a book that is easy to read and impossible to put down. Sincero recalls her meager existence, with no money in the bank and a diet of cheap junk food, that made her realize she was not living the life she could. Within a few years, she had gone from money train wreck to financial guru, and she's not going to keep any of it a secret. Buy this book, read it at the beach, in the bathtub, on the sofa, or in bed; just read it, and be inspired to transform your own life into the one you feel you deserve.
2. Money for Nothing: One Man's Journey through the Dark Side of Lottery Millions by Edward Ugel
Wouldn't it be great if you won the lottery? All those millions. No more job. No more worries about bills to pay, rising health care and education costs, and how you'll ever afford to take a vacation. Well, be careful what you wish for. That's the premise of Edward Ugel's fascinating, terrifying, and incredibly funny book about the plight of lottery winners, and the system of legalized gambling that has become ingrained in modern American life. From the unscrupulous tactics used to get us all vying for the jackpots, to the way millions of dollars can actually become a burden, Money for Nothing is essential reading and what Portland's The Oregonian called "a jackpot of sleaze and hilarity."
3. Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together by Erin Lowry
This may be a book with "millennial" in the title, but it's a great read for anyone living paycheck-to-paycheck and desperate to find a little financial freedom. Sadly, with college loans becoming astronomical, and "McJobs" being the only ones available for some well-educated millennials, Lowry's advice hits the nail on the head for this demographic more than most. It's a case of taking a few steps back, looking at your finances with a fresh eye, and finally taking control.
This is not, however, a book that will tread mundanely through advice about credit card debt, loans, mortgages, and budgeting. It's replete with stories that will have you laughing out loud, and tips that are both simple and effective. Broke Millennial is a refreshing, inspirational read that will help you tackle all of your money problems without ever making you feel patronized or ashamed. There's even advice about how to deal with your partner's money issues.
4. Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter by Dr. Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler
If you're a lover of TED talks, then you're probably already familiar with the name Dan Ariely. This superb behavioral economist has given some of the most impactful presentations to date, including "Are we in control of our own decisions?" and "What makes us feel good about our work?"
Now, alongside writer and comedian Jeff Kreisler, he delves into the subject of money; and he does it with the same use of humor, engagement, and fascinating facts. Questions like "Why does paying for something feel like it's causing us physical pain?" and "Why do we pay $4 for a soda on vacation that we wouldn't even pay a $1 for at home?" are just a few he'll have you pondering while you turn the pages of Dollars and Sense. It's another easy read, and a real page-turner that leaves you so much more knowledgeable about money and human nature. And once you understand how those two things are connected, you'll have a better chance of overcoming the traps of spending.
5. Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity by Michael Lewis
The stock market is a curious and unpredictable beast, and in Panic, Lewis dissects the biggest crashes in modern financial history. But don't worry, this isn't a tired old analytical look at the numbers. Michael Lewis is considered one of the "funniest serious writers in America," and you'll find evidence of that on almost every page. What caused the massive crash in 1987? What led to the internet bubble bursting, and the subprime mortgage disaster that cost so many people their jobs and their homes?
Yes, the book touches on many extremely serious subjects. But if you've ever seen the movie Moneyball, based on the book by Lewis, you'll know that he can make even the most seemingly-mundane statistics come alive. This is not just a book about money, but about human nature, greed, and corruption. Get ready for a roller-coaster ride through the biggest financial events of our lifetime.
6. Real Money Answers for Every Woman: How to Win the Money Game With or Without a Man by Patrice C. Washington
Don't let the title fool you, this is not a book just for the ladies. The advice in Real Money Answers for Every Woman works for everyone, and it's delivered in a "tell it like it is" Q&A-style that's incredibly easy to digest in both small bursts and long-haul reading sessions. As a reformed bad spender, Washington looks back on the excessive spending habits that almost ruined her by the tender age of 22. But she turned it all around by 25, learning all about finance, respecting money, and becoming debt-free … with her own real estate business to boot. You'll find invaluable advice on everything from paying off credit card debt and homeownership, to bagging affordable child care and negotiating a raise and promotion.
Get yourself a copy and start learning the habits that will get you feeling, and living the financially free lifestyle you've always dreamed of.
7. Get Smart!: How to Think and Act Like the Most Successful and Highest-Paid People in Every Field by Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy is an acclaimed business guru, speaker, and best-selling author. In Get Smart!, he brings his literal wealth of knowledge to you in a way that's easy to digest, and comes complete with handy exercises throughout. One of the startling facts presented by Tracy is that the average person uses just 2 percent of their mental ability. But if we all learn to think, act, and embrace the ways of successful people, we can unlock so much more of our potential and go on to lead financially-secure lives.
In short, if you think you can do it, or you think you can't … you're right. This is about harnessing positive thinking and using it to create success in whatever field you're currently in, or want to be in. Exercise your courage and get ready to become a much better version of yourself. (See also: 10 Books to Read for a Better Money Mindset)
8. F.U. Money: Make As Much Money As You Damn Well Want And Live Your Life As You Damn Well Please! by Dan Lok
Well, any book that talks about "F.U. Money" is already off to a fun start. This is the amount of money that would keep you comfortable enough to be able to quit your job, support your family, and eliminate your money stress. In fact, many conversations around the lunch table at work are about F.U. Money, and what you would really say to your annoying boss if you ever got it. This is your chance to make that dream become a reality.
Of course, F.U. Money takes the approach that dead-end jobs and soul-sucking careers are no way to live a life that is so short. If we're lucky, we get about 80 years on this planet, and do we really want to spend most of those stuck in a job we hate, day in, day out? This book gives you the tools you need to go out there and forge your own path. No relying on a corporation to pay your mortgage and your health insurance. No worrying about layoffs and backstabbing co-workers. If you want it, and you work hard, you can have the lifestyle you currently only dream of. Now, go and get it.
9. How Come That Idiot's Rich And I'm Not? by Robert Shemin
How often have you asked yourself that question? Seriously, you sometimes look at the person driving the latest BMW, rocking designer threads, and yet they can barely string two coherent sentences together. What have they got that you don't? Is it luck? An inheritance? Why are they swimming in money and freedom? How Come That Idiot's Rich And I'm Not? examines that in a fun and common-sense way, and you'll find it easy to flip through the pages and garner some excellent advice. Written in a way that isn't preachy, but is definitely persuasive, this is one of those books that gets you riled up enough to do something about that initial question.
10. The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do by Sarah Knight
OK, so this isn't strictly a book laser-focused on money. But if you're looking for a very fun read that will have you literally rolling on the floor laughing, and will also help you live a better life, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck is one for your next beach vacation. It's written with the kind of satirical swagger that makes you nod constantly, laugh out loud to an embarrassing extent, and also want to get to social media and share the advice with everyone you know.
You'll learn the "NotSorry" method of mental decluttering (who couldn't use that?) that will stop you from worrying so much about your physical appearance, the opinions of your co-workers, that insane family drama, and all the other nonsense that fills our brains to capacity. Flush it out, and you'll have the time and energy to focus on what really matters; and that includes getting your finances in order and creating a stream of income that comes from something you genuinely enjoy doing. If you can, find the audiobook narrated with passion by the author.
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